I’ve often had people ask me, “Why do you want to do missions with the Assemblies of God?” Sometimes there’s been an element of “They make it really hard” in the question, with discussions of paperwork and itineration and regulations. I also get looks of complete befuddlement, even scorn, from close friends when I say I will never be able to touch alcohol as a missionary with the AG.
Yes, I grew up in the AG. My childhood was one of Sunday School, Missionettes, Bible Quiz, Glacier Bible Camp, and Youth Convention. I went to an Assemblies of God Bible college, and to an Assemblies of God seminary. I have attended church for an extended amount of time at only one other denomination in my life, and while I liked it and felt involved in it, I felt like I was coming home when I returned to an AG church.
But it’s not just a case of cultural familiarity. Everything I have learned about the Assemblies of God over thirty-two years of involvement in it has increased my respect and love for this fellowship. We were founded for the purpose of evangelism and missions. We are one of the biggest missionary-sending organizations in the world. Missions is built into our DNA, and how can I not want to be involved in a church fellowship like that?
After studying Assemblies of God theology, polity, and missions organization in school over the course of eight years, I have concluded more and more that I believe in what the Assemblies of God believes in and want to be involved in the missions work it is involved in. This doesn’t mean I’m going to quietly give up my brain and become a parrot. I have a mind of my own and a highly idiosyncratic way of looking at the world and life. But it means that I am willing to submit to everything it requires to become an AG missionary, because I think it’s worth it. The AG takes good care of its missionaries, and I’m eager to be one of them.